More wade into Palm beachside locker row

More residents of the Palm Jumeirah's Shoreline area want answers, saying they have lost thousands of dirhams in equipment stored in beachside lockers.
Chris Spong near the rented locker where he kept his surf equipment on Nakheel’s private Palm Jumeirah Beach in Dubai. Reem Mohammed / The National
Chris Spong near the rented locker where he kept his surf equipment on Nakheel’s private Palm Jumeirah Beach in Dubai. Reem Mohammed / The National

DUBAI // Residents of the Palm Jumeirah’s Shoreline area want answers from developer Nakheel as to why staff confiscated expensive leisure equipment from their leased beachside lockers, which cost thousands of dirhams to rent.

More paddleboarders and kayakers have stepped forward to say they have lost equipment or items were damaged after they were placed in the lockers.

They say beachside workers failed to pass on rental cash through official Nakheel channels.

The demands emerged after Chris Spong said Nakheel dumped Dh20,000 worth of paddleboards after he paid Dh6,000 in cash to rent a locker from a member of staff.

As he had not kept a receipt, his claims for reimbursement were rejected.

Diane and Nathan Cushnie, of Building 12 at the Shoreline apartments, have had a similar experience, despite paying Dh1,600 in cash to a Nakheel worker for annual rent for secure storage in December.

“We used the locker from December until May regularly until it got too hot,” said Mr Cushnie, an American.

“We left it for a few weeks and then decided one weekend in June to take the boards out as we had some friends staying. The locker had been broken into and everything was gone.”

Their locker was emptied of a two-man kayak, a paddleboard, two oars and bag along with life vests – all worth more than Dh10,000 in total.

When the couple complained to Nakheel, they were told that the beach operations were under new management, who wanted receipts and proof that the equipment belonged to them.

“The new Nakheel guy wasn’t that interested in returning our stuff,” Mr Cushnie said.

“I showed him the receipt, then he wanted photos of all of the belongings. They finally returned some of the items on June 14 after a lot of chasing but there was an oar and a life jacket missing.

“The paddleboard was worth Dh5,000 and was pretty new. It was badly damaged and needs repairing.”

Despite having an official Nakheel Marine and Leisure receipt to prove the payment was made, the developer is refusing to accept responsibility for any damage.

“I don’t know how much it will cost to repair,” said Mrs Cushnie, a recruitment worker from Slovakia.

“Nakheel has taken no responsibility for what they’ve done, and didn’t contact us before confiscating the equipment.

“This has happened to a lot of people on Shoreline and, instead of looking to rectify the situation, Nakheel would rather blame unknown parties in their organisation and hope we will go away.

“It’s been miserable – they want us to cover the costs of their mistakes. We’ve paid for a locker, which is still broken and effectively useless.”

Another disgruntled Shoreline resident is Frenchman Johann Chagot, 40.

“I rented in January 2015 for a year, and still have the receipt,” he said.

“The locker was emptied and my paddleboard and equipment were gone. It was worth about Dh4,500. I called the man who I paid but he said I had to talk to his boss, a new guy managing the Shoreline pool and beach area.

“This man had no sense of customer service. He hadn’t yet disposed of my stuff and it was in storage by the pool. Luckily, I could recover it.”

Nakheel said it was investigating the incidents and advised residents on renting lockers and using beach facilities.

“If they choose to go ahead, they will be asked to complete a form and settle the payment before being given a copy of the receipt.”

nwebster@thenational.ae

Published: September 17, 2016 04:00 AM

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